Friday, May 14, 2010

Damage to natural environments likely to be irreversible

Brigid Darragh in Green Chip Stocks: The United Nations revealed the results of the third "Global Biodiversity Outlook" report last week. The report found that human impact such as pollution, overexploitation, and deforestation are the cause of damage for the planet’s most vulnerable ecosystems, including coral reefs, lakes, and the Amazon rainforest.

The report has led the UN to warn that the damage was likely to worsen to a point of being irreversible. Fragile ecosystems are life-sustaining environments, but they too have tipping points. Beyond these points, the balance of climate and food chain within certain ecosystems faces permanent damage. In fact, three such tipping points have been identified in this latest report. According to the UN’s findings:
  • Global climate, regional rainfall and loss of plant and animal species were harmed by continued deforestation of the Amazon rainforest
  • Many freshwater lakes and rivers were becoming contaminated by algae, starving them of oxygen and killing off fish, affecting local livelihoods and recreation for local populations.
  • Coral reefs were collapsing due to the combined blow of more acid and warming oceans, as well as overfishing.
This report — based on scientific assessments, reports submitted by governments on their respective nations, and a study on the future of biodiversity — is being published as one of the milestones of the UN's International Year of Biodiversity….

A Pastoral Landscape, Asher Brown Durand (1796–1886)

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